Aasim
The Protector

For many kids coming up in the ghettos of America, they live the life that the late Christopher Wallace once rhymed about: “Either you’re slingin’ rock or you got a wicked jump shot”—it’s a motto that rings true for anyone who’s striving to carve their name amongst the clouds. Luckily, hip-hop has emerged as an alternative way out. Since emerging as a way for ghetto youth to express their rage, humor and style, hip-hop has spawned an entire industry in its wake, from artist to executive to behind-the-scenes ghostwriter.

Someone who’s successfully playing both sides of the fence right now is Bad Boy Entertainment recording artist Aasim, a native of Queens, NY. The former Loud Records flame-spitter has aligned himself with the Diddy to cash those checks that Mr. Press Play has been known to write. Speaking of writing, check the credits—Aasim penned many of the bars on Diddy’s new album while plotting his own debut, due out in 2007. BBE’s new franchise player sat down with XXLMAG.com to talk about ghostwriting for Diddy, what he learned from his former Loud label mates, and how he plans to continue B.I.G.’s legacy.

Listen to:
Aasim feat. Diddy “And U Say NYC” (2006)

XXL’s Elliott Wilson recently said that you’re the man behind a lot of the lyrics on Press Play. How was the creative process behind making the album and what are your hopes for your upcoming debut?
Press Play was crazy! It was a year and a half of just studio, studio, studio, traveling, being everywhere that Puff was. When I write for people, I want to know exactly who they are, to be in their life and see everything from their personal standpoint. He allowed me to get into that cipher. He taught me how to take more pride and time into putting a song together. People don’t really understand how to make a song, they think that it’s so easy, but I learned how to construct a hit. That experience taught me that my album has to be crazy. I have to be more than a perfectionist. I’m obsessed with making sure that the album is better than the rest. I’ve been working on it everyday, for 16-20 hours a day, seven days a week, ever since we wrapped Press Play.

At 17, you were signed to Loud Records, along with Big Pun and dead prez. What did you take away from that experience?
What I took from Pun were skills on how to make songs. From him, I learned how to come up with hooks and how to put a song together. I learned from watching him. I learned that you have to have a vision for the song. You have to know where you want it to go. Pun used to take a beat CD, play it for about a minute or so, rewind it back and forth, then listen to it again. He would write a whole song to that one minute and sixteen seconds. What I learned from dead prez was that you basically had to have more content in your music. Hip-hop is about more than what you own and what you’ve done in your past. I want to make sure that I don’t just put out some mindless music. I learned from them that you don’t have to be afraid to speak your mind. Whether it’s about politics or something personal, you just have to speak your mind.

While with Loud, you got caught up in legal issues, which prevented your debut from coming out. Bad Boy has let a lot of artists sit on the shelf too. Are you worried about the same thing happening?
Nah…the Loud situation was totally different from Bad Boy’s. I had a production deal with Loud. They didn’t necessary want the production company, they wanted the artist. But with me being a loyal cat, I stayed with the production company [Grind Music] and left the label. Right now, honestly, I want to do my part to bring the label back. There are a lot of skeptics right now who don’t believe that Bad Boy can get back to where it was before with B.I.G., Craig Mack, Carl Thomas and 112. I want my album to be anticipated and to be crazy hot. We set dates here and there for it to come out, but it wasn’t ready yet.

“And U Say NYC” leaked a few months ago, but otherwise, your solo stuff has been pretty much under wraps. What’s kept you motivated?
I guess when you want something, you just keep going hard for it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing promos, freestyles or whatever. I have a passion and a love for this. I was doing this before I was making money off of rap. Now it’s just inspiration because I’m able to provide for my family and eat off of a passion. I have the good fortune to keep people around me who keep me motivated to continue to push for the future.

The name Aasim means “protector” or “guardian” in Arabic. How does your name relate to hip-hop?
I think music has kept me out of a lot of trouble. I could’ve been doing a lot worst. It’s been my protector. But I also feel like I’m the protector and guardian of hip-hop. There’s a younger generation that doesn’t know anything about the sound of hip-hop. The boom-bap, the heavy bassline, those types of things, you know? I don’t think that they see a cat shining with his lyrics. You have some of the classic cats out there saying that “hip-hop is dead.” But even if they feel like it is, I want them to know that there’s someone out there who’s trying to keep this alive. I have a song called “Raw” and it’s basically the rawest essence of hip-hop. From the beat to the flow, to how I say my lines, it really embodies how I feel. It’s going to shock the world.

In 2007, it will have been 10 years since B.I.G.’s passing. Diddy says that you’re the lead-man for the new Bad Boy era. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years, I pray that I’m a billionaire. B.I.G. was B.I.G., and there will never be another one like him. I would never try to fill those shoes or anything like that. It’s unfortunate that he lost his life. It’s sad that I never got a chance to work with him. I would try and spread the message that beefing and all that bullshit in hip-hop isn’t really cool. I want to take some of the street seriousness out of the game, where shit changes and egos don’t clash as much. I heard ’Pac say that he wanted to spark the brain of the person who changed the world. Well, B.I.G. and ’Pac were pieces of a puzzle and I want to add onto that framework. I want to live the way that I’m supposed to and leave my mark the way I am going to. I can’t ask for anything more than that.

  • JORDAN

    GOOD READ…

  • JORDAN

    I HOPE HE BLOWS

  • JORDAN

    STOP ALL THAT STUPID ” FIRST” COMMENTS

    IT’S LAME

    GROW UP

  • JORDAN

    OG BEFORE I FORGET

    DIDDY IS A BITCH.. ALWAYS HOLDING PEOPLE BACK

    WHERE IS NESS ALBUM

    WHERE IS BABS ALBUM

    WHY DROP CHOPPA FROM BADBOY SOUTH?

    DIDDY = MONEY HUMGRY BITCH

  • JORDAN

    I COULD CONTINUE FLODDING THE PAGE WITH USELESS COMMENTS BUT I DONT DO THAT LAME STUFF

  • BONGO

    FIRST

  • http://forums.onsmash.com/?act=idx Team OnSMASH

    And You Say NEW YORK CITY!

  • Ben Gibson

    This guy is cute

  • jacquez
  • Can I get withcha?

    who ate all the biscuits?

  • THE ONE

    Ben Gibson Says:

    November 24th, 2006 at 11:22 am
    This guy is cute

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    1 WORD….YOUR GAY.

  • OnE3nD

    See look everybody knew he had a ghostwriter because he is illiterate as hell lol but he can sell records.

  • Three4

    This is something real…!!!…Dope MC!!!

  • SONNY CHEEBA

    he’s cool, no Notorious B.I.G. tho!

  • frankwhite45

    I hope that niggas gets the chance to blow myspace.com/ninohnewjack myspace.com/ninohnewjack

  • Ur dead Mama

    lets hope dis cat bring back hip-hop

    I JUSS SHOT Y0 MAMA

  • Dubcity

    Aasim’s the mantis, remember hearing him on a cd a few years back, working with a Producer from New Zealand, duke’s lyrically crazy. Album’s gonna be crack…

  • lameo

    11th

  • Danja29

    SONNY CHEEBA wrote:
    he’s cool, no Notorious B.I.G tho!
    ____________________________________

    Maaan, you might have to live another lifetime to get that.

    I think if Puff had a genuinely nice MC with that classic feel, we would get some new incredible shit on Bad Boy. But truth is, we ain’t got alot of ‘em out here and that’s the ONLY reason why. But Aasim is nice.

    So… dude was like 15 back when he opened up that Clue tape with Pudgee? Or do we have another guy lyin’ about his age? Hmmm…

  • DIAZ

    diddy like always doesent no when to shut up during a song

  • JORDAN

    WHATS THE BIG DEAL WITH DELETEING MY COMMENTS?… FUCK XXL FOR DOING THAT.

    WELCOME TO THE FLOOD GATES

  • dasouf

    YALL ACTUALLY LIKE THIS NIGGA, YALL EITHER GOTTA BE REAL OLD R REAL YUNG. THIS NIGGA WRITES FOR PUFF DADDY MANE, PUFFY IS FUKIN WAK AND IF HE WRITES FOR THAT NIGGA HE GOTTA BE WAK TO. LMAO, NIGGAS FROM NEW YORK BE TRIPPIN I SWEAR. HOW THA FUK CAN A PUFF DADDY NIGGA BRING BAK HIP-HOP, FUK HIP-HOP ANYWAY, IM FROM THA SOUF WE ON DAT GANGSTA SHIT MANE, LOL

  • Babyboy

    lets see what u got.. talk real slick, lets see if u got what it takes, cuz it doesnt take much 2 write 4 Diddy, just take a look at his lyrics, ahahah

  • http://www.xxlmag.com L.A.’s Finest

    Hey I liked his answers, good luck fool. Hope you make that Bad Boy money.

  • Trueog

    this guy sucks, nail on the coffin for badboy. They suck ass, i’m tired of the samples, no originality, atleast even kanye speeds his samples up and changes them slightly, puffy just raps on this shit like its a mixtape. Fuck him and bad boy. Fuk sampling in hip hop, sick of this shit. SO many untalented fuckers that think they skilled when they biters, then they get mad someone bit their already biten shit…fukin homo’s

  • Full E Blown

    Live drums, sped up flow? Take that “SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT” dick out your mouth. Calm down and focus on your content, young rapper. Listen to Jay’s Volume 1 album and find out how to do slow content based hiphop( before he went pop).

    Speed is a gimmick. So are too many metaphores. Witty, clever, and truthful never play out.. Master that the way B.I.G did and Jay Z did and maybe you can use I and great in the same sentence.
    eg. (from me)
    Who am I?
    Ask the last bastard, I shot for hating.
    Where is he?
    He that nigger that look like he just slap boxed with satan.

    Visual and clever plus true.

    Producer=coach.

  • Whoa

    no i think da word iz fagot

  • Full E Blown

    Internet thugs make me laugh. But some producers are suspect.

  • http://badboyonline tha kid BBE 4 life

    yo trueog fuck off ur a dumb kid aasim is the truth. dudes gonna save hip hop.what u know about the art.ur one of those dumb ignorant cats that listen to unk d4l dem franchize boys.so u shouldnt even speak on this respect the god faggot. BAD BOY WE BACK

  • http://badboyonline tha kid BBE 4 life

    DANA29 ur a idiot who is b.i.g theres 1 and only 1 he aint trying to be the great BI listen to his lyrics hes about change a modern day king, malcom, pac, dudes trying to save the youth.Aasims the truth listen to “AND U SAY NYC”.hes better than 90 percent of the rappers out.Did u people forget what hip hop is the AZ, NAS,JAYZ, WU TANG, RAKIM, B.I, PAC, DIDDY, CUBE, SNOOP, DRE, KOOL G RAP, BIG L THAT WAS HIP HOP U IGNORANT KIDS JUST CONFUZE MOST OF U PROBABLY INTO THAT NEW GARBAGE JEEZY, LIL BOOZIE, GUCCI MAN NEED I SAY MORE.FUNNY HOW STUPID MUZIK CAN INFLUENCE THE GENERATION SO MUCH.DUMB KIDS PICK UP A BOOK GAIN SOME KNOWLEDGE. DIDDY LET THE MAN SHINE FOR GOD AND THE YOUTHS SAKE WE NEED HIM. BAD BOY BABY WE BACK

  • http://badboyonline tha kid BBE 4 life

    MY APOLOGYS TO DANJA29 THAT COMMENT WAS FOR SONNY CHEEBA.

  • Yannic

    WORD!!

  • Ben Gibson

    The one, thats 2 words for a start and if im so gay then why do i work out so much??

  • DAMON

    I’ve never heard of this nigga, I think he’s like NOT COOL and sucks like A LOT!!!

    Fuck that Nigga and Fuck puffy man, that nigga cann’t run shit.. He’s a bitchass nigga.

  • http://myspace.com/djsyncity syncity

    yea he is fine

  • Ben Gibson

    Syn City = Home boy

  • http://www.xxlmag.com Clyde Barker

    to niggas above me both McFoley’s

  • Deville

    He’s ok…but his voice is too light and there’s a good number of rapperss out that spit the same way…Its nothing really new, impressive or innovative about his sound or what he’s saying in this song….

  • Vindi

    This guy is nice NO HOMO and from wat i hear i can tell he wrote a lot of shit for Diddy

    http://www.soundclick.com/revengevindi

  • LANDIGGY

    hey can someone tell me what lmao means

  • http://myspace.com/lfinesse1 L-Finesse

    EVEN THO PUFFY IS A BITCH BUT HE’S A BITCH WITH MONEY. SO ON THAT NOTE NO HOMO KEEP WRITTING FOR HIS ASS AND IF YOU R ILL THEN BAD BOY WILL BE YOURS JUST DON’T GET FUCK OVER LIKE THE LATE GREATS YA DIGG YOU R READY KNO. FAR ROCK BAISLEY RIDER

  • http://badboyonline tha kid BBE 4 life

    DASOUF GO BACK TO SCHOOL, C THIS KIDS A PERFECT EXAMPLE AT WHAT THAT SOUTH GARBAGE THOSE TO THE HUMAN MIND,I BET U OWN A GRILL TO RIGHT DASOUF.FUCK BAD BOY NAH MY MAN ITS BAD BOY FOR LIFE. WHAT U BE BUMPIN O WAIT LET ME GUESS “EAST SIDE WALK IT OUT WESTSIDE WALK IT OUT” OR MAYBE SOME MIKE JONES OR “DO U LEAN WIT IT ROCK WITH IT” IS THAT THE GANGSTA SHIT U BE ON. ANYWAYS AASIM’S THE TRUTH AND MAY I SAY EDUCATED LISTEN TO HIS RHYMES.BRINGING THAT POSITIVE MESSAGE BACK TO HIP HOP. DASOUF U LEAVE ME BAFFELD U NEW HELP KID I PRAY FOR U, FIND GOD OR SOMETHING DONT BE IGNORANT.

  • http://gabenewell.com gabe newell

    all u niggas an’t rill. u faggots wish u waz ril

  • DredScott

    aasim is dope…

    kid has been nice since his aasim d’xplicit days on loud.

    “fly shit” used to be the fuckin joint back in the day, real niggas remember that cut.

    too bad most of you newjacks will front on dude like he’s just another new rapper working with puff…

  • http://badboyonline tha kid BBE 4 life

    Co sign DredScott u know ur hip hop First intelligent person on this sight
    Dude is sick he’ll save hip hop.Fly shit yup.Most these kids be on that jeezy lil boosie rick ross garbage real respect real. Az what up

  • http://badboyonline tha kid BBE 4 life

    Alot of these dudes do front on aasim like hes another rapper but dudes a MC.Listen to his words no gimmick kid got REAL SKILLZ something we havent seen since The PAC, BIG, NAS era.
    “In a focus zone/coming for the cover of rolling stones/here to bring the homeless home. Instead of your basic rap verse I got guns ill shoot u. Or I sell drugs u should to.Or im not making anysense but the beat is bANGING

  • mike jones//who//

    this guy is wack.he needs to go wipe his ass.

  • http://www.myspace.com.com/malvocalz wishman

    Asim got some nice lyrics. Keep doin’ your thing man cuz you got people checking for you. Diddy don’t mess this dude over man. You can shine a lot by not trying to outshine your artists.

    http://www.myspace.com/tragicallies
    http://www.myspace.com/tragicpurpose
    http://www.myspace.com/malvocalz

  • http://badboyonline tha kid BBE 4 life

    DYKE JONES HOW U COME ON HERE TALKIN DOWN ON AASIM, UR UNDER DYKE JONES, COME ON MAN UR IGNORANT KID, UR JUST AS DUMB AS THAT OTHER GUY DASOUF. PEOPLE LIKE U MESS UP HIP HOP U BUY INTO ALL THAT GARBAGE MIKE JONES WHO!!!!!!!!! I BET U BE BUMPIN “INSIDE PEANUT BUTTER OUTSIDE JELLY”. AASIM THE SAVIOR SHOW EM WHAT U GOT

  • deadlyvenom

    Aasim is acting wack. He said in the article that he was loyal to his production team? but why? your beats ain’t loyal to your rhymes. you need some real music. grind music is wack. your beats are holding you back kid. get with some real producers. you know this. canibus was a dope emcee, but had wack tracks, we don’t need that again. bring back bad-boy! stand up for NY! shed your baggage. do it for hip-hop.

  • Dirty D

    Why hating on a positive influence in a black community. Puff ain’t gay, he is a brillant savvy business man. A lot of his artist goes platinuim. That nigga makes us dance in the clubs. Puffy don’t sample as much as he us to, its good music. Badboy is a movement;BADBOY is coming BACK!!!! Cant stop wont stop, Badboy boy 4 life!!!!!!

  • josh

    he’s pretty good, i’m glad he ain’t tryin 2 b biggie coz he definantly ain’t dat gud. diddy better actualy bring dis album out

  • josh

    i hope da east takes hip hop back. i aint h8in da south, i like sum shit but da east wer it started and wer it shud be.the east took it bak frum da west and da west woz bangin so it shud b like takin candy from a baby snatchin it off “laffy taffy”.this is almost like anutha east coast renaissance (the big bang,hip hop is dead,kingdom come,fishscale,more fish,cuban linx 2,a.w.o.l,the format,wu-tang album not 2 far away).let’s get east officialy back on the map.

  • Goodfella

    Good luck Aasim! U gone need if u fukkin wit Puff (ask the lox, carl thomas, 112, Shyne, etc.) Hopefully somebody new can come with some real lyrics but u a little suspect already if you writin for Puff. But da mob is watchin. We’ll C!

  • deadlyvenom

    can we get a new page already. im tired of looking @ ol duke

  • Big Chops

    LAST AGAIN H-A H-A H-A!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.myspace.com.dreamsgurl1 vachic06

    Yo Aasim iz da truth 4 real. He can an he was a real cool person wen i met him, cant wait fa da album to drop.

  • U-god

    FUCK DIDDY AND BAD BOY, THE ONLY GOOD BAD BOY ARTIST THERE EVER WAS IS DEAD

  • sam

    diddy u got many peoples believe on u.u must stop singing put ur artist man ness,babs,mario nelson they stil stay they years and years any album come in up we need badboy back

  • Matt D

    dasouf Says: a bunch of gay stuff

    yeah you definitly on that gangsta shit sayin lol and lmao every other line, how bout you shut your mouth and listen to the kid, who cares if he’s associated with diddy, diddy didnt teach him to how to rhyme or flow or anything he is just helpin him get established. and when it comes to that gangsta shit in the south, well that shit just sucks, sorry bud.

  • supercat

    bring back g dep loon and black rob!!

    bring back g dep loon and black rob

  • http://www.badboyonline.com Dan Brown

    Sean and Bad Boy’s rising success has helped him follow through on his private vow to give back to the community that supported him in his youth and career. Knowing the positive impact the consistent and careful guidance of his family, teachers and mentors had on his own life, Sean established Daddy’s House Social Programs, Inc. in 1995 to create educational programs and initiatives in inner-city youth. Far exceeding a simple charitable gesture, Sean helps to create and fund innovative youth programs, including Wall Street training teams, college visit tours for high school seniors, international travel groups, summer camp programs and internships at Bad Boy which Combs himself instructs. Sean returned to Howard University to donate $1 million to help continue the institution’s commitment to educating African-American youth. Furthering the cause, Combs’ helped to bridge the digital divide in urban schools by donating more than 100 computers to 500 New York City public schools. On Thanksgiving in 2000, Daddy’s House annual food drive for underprivileged families took on a more special and somber meaning. Learning of the passing of civil rights leader Rev. Hosea Williams, Combs’ was asked by the late leader’s daughter to carry on his legacy. Combs’ carried the torch of Rev. William’s mission by sponsoring the annual Hosea’s Feed the Hungry and Homeless Thanksgiving Day dinner for more than 30,000 people in Atlanta. He has participated in the “Million-Man March” and protested in support of greater funding for public schools. Most recently, Sean has been active in educating youths about HIV and AIDS hosting various programs and initiatives to bring mass awareness to this epidemic. In November, he visited South Africa to meet and visit HIV/AIDS patients and perform for MTV’s World AIDS Day special.

    Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ career continues on the road of tireless and indomitable creativity. In ten years, he has used every minute to build, inspire, create and share the success of an entertainment empire. Sean’s knack not only to create his own music, but his intrinsic ability to discover and nurture talent – as he did with Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot, teen-sensation Dream, Jodeci and Mary J. Blige – is what keeps him at the top of the industry. Most recently Sean launched the careers of Black Rob, Carl Thomas, G. Dep and DREAM, all of who have already dominated charts and are being celebrated by fans across the world. Sean is ready to further dominate the decade with more of the same success as he closely crafts and launches new Bad Boy artists Loon, Cheri Denis and G.Dep, as well as a newly reunited New Edition and southern rap pioneers MJG & 8Ball. Sean’s innate talent will continue to impress upon the entertainment industry, fans and society to closely follow his future.

    If you think he’s a Bitch now. Your as dumb as your mom when she smokes crack.

    Dan Brown

  • http://www.badboyonline.com Dan Brown

    Go for yours protector. It’s your time to shine. Diddy might have artist sitting on a shelf but all the artist are making more money with Bad Boy then if they left Bad Boy. And did anyone stop and think that maybe these artist are sitting on a shelf because they themselve are not handling their business like they should.

    Dan Brown

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